The Faculty Reader: Who is Reading What This Summer?

What titles made the Harvard Business Faculty short list for summer reading?
by Carmen Nobel

For Harvard Business School faculty, summer marks the perfect time to catch up on reading for work and pleasure. We asked six faculty what they're looking forward to digging into over the next few months.

Rohit Deshpandé

I'll be reading Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, An American Icon by Julie MacIntosh, and Dream Big by Cristiane Correa and with a foreword by Jim Collins. Both books are about a clash of cultures (corporate and cross-national)—Anheuser-Bush's history of building a family dynasty around the Budweiser brand franchise, and the emergence of 3G Capital as a below-the-radar M&A player in the American consumer brand market. The story of the Busch family has been well-documented in the media but the story of Jorge Paulo Lemann (Harvard College '61), Beto Sicupira (HBS OPM 9), and Marcel Telles (HBS OPM 10) is much less known. MacIntosh of the Financial Times and Correa of Exame paint larger-than-life pictures of the behind the scenes maneuvering that has led 3G Capital to take over not only AB but also Burger King, Heinz, and Kraft.

John Macomber

I'm looking forward to reading Made in Africa by Dr. Arkebe Oqubay. This is in preparation for my Immersive Field Course in January, Africa; Building Citiesa, in which students will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Ethiopia follows a state-led development model, and this nation of 90 million is striving to become a middle-income country by 2030 and also a climate resilient green economy (thanks to hydropower potential). I'm interested in how they expect to engage private investment and for-profit businesses to help deliver the necessary efficient, sustainable infrastructure.

Nitin Nohria

I am looking forward to reading Road to Character by David Brooks. Having said that we educate leaders with both competence and character at HBS, I am keen to learn how we can better cultivate and develop character.

Michael Norton

I plan to read books by two of the best minds in behavioral science sharing their insights into individuals, groups, and markets. Irrationally Yours: On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles by Dan Ariely, and Who Gets What—and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth.

Ryan Raffaella

There is something special about visiting your local independent bookstore in anticipation of finding the perfect book to take on vacation. This summer, I am excited to read two books about leadership. First, Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull and Kathy Eisenhardt distills years of research down to several core principles, accompanied by a wealth of real-life examples, to help us all make sense of managing complexity in today's economy. Second, I am eager to finally read Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. Brown chronicles how nine boys from working-class families won improbable gold in the 1936 Olympics, a true story that should prove an enjoyable read.

Stefan Thomke

I am hoping to find time for The Wright Brothers by historian and Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullogh. I've heard that it's a nitty-gritty account of how they achieved sustained flight—against all odds and through industriousness, patience, and relentless experimentation.

This article originally appeared on the Harvard Business School website under the title, What Are You Reading This Summer?.

About the Author

Carmen Nobel is the senior editor of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.